A manager at a major air traffic control center in New York has called or an investigation after alleging some of his union employees work only three hours a day and regularly engage in chatting, texting, and even movie-watching while on the job.
The New York Post reports:
Evan Seeley, a frontline manager at the New York Air Route Traffic Control Center in Ronkonkoma, LI, fired off complaints last month to the Federal Aviation Administration and the Office of Special Counsel, a federal agency that probes whistleblower claims. The Post obtained copies.[...]
Seeley's OSC filings allege that union controllers operate with little oversight at the center, which coordinates high-altitude flights through the Northeast, including from JFK, La Guardia and Newark airports, and is best known for having handled the hijacked 9/11 planes.
Instead of focusing on their monitors, some of the barely supervised controllers socialize, gaze at photos on their phones and sit with their feet up on desks, claims Seeley, 26. A few play movies or solitaire on their laptops, despite FAA rules banning electronic devices.
On-duty controllers also are allowed to disappear for breaks that can last more than an hour, the whistleblower alleges, and workers pressured him to "close positions" -- or shut down posts -- so they could lollygag.
"Closing positions could potentially create dangerous air-traffic situations where one controller was working too many aircraft," Seeley's OSC complaint states. "Most controllers were working just three hours out of an eight-hour shift."
Read the full story from the Post.